Gluten Free Pulled Pork Sandwiches

This recipe goes out to my first born Josh. He’s been requesting pulled pork sandwiches for months! Josh is a huge fan of meat & anything that can go into a sandwich. He’s a bit like his dad in those regards. I haven’t met a food combo yet that my husband won’t at least try to turn into a sandwich.😉

There is a right way and a wrong way to make pulled pork sandwiches. If this is news to you, don’t worry. I am here to help! Please don’t buy shredded pork, throw some bbq sauce on top and call it good. There is a method to this classic entre!

Step By Step Pulled Pork

First, buy a pork roast. Pick one with a good amount of fat on it. I know, I know. You probably have some silly idea that fat is bad for you. Animal fat is great for you. All in moderation of course, but this is a good fat! For more info on why animal fat is good for you read my post on bone broth. Buy from the butcher if you have one available to you. We have a friend who raises pigs and we get all our pork from her. It’s amazing.

The bone will literally come out clean!

Second, prep your crock pot by spraying it with olive oil.

Place the pork in the crock pot in the morning and set it on low. “Low and slow” is the name of the game for this recipe. Let it cook about half the day, say from 8am-1pm before adding the other ingredients.

While the pork is cooking, make your homemade bbq sauce. The recipe I linked is easy to set up and simmers for 30 minutes.

At the half-way point of cooking, add in the onion slices.

Once the pork has been cooking for 7 hours on low, add in the bbq sauce. Cook on low for another hour.

Shredding the pork takes seconds!

Then begin shredding the pork. It should be really easy to do. I like using two forks and gently pulling in opposite directions from the place I started.

Set the crock pot to warm and assemble the other ingredients. I use gluten free buns (Udi’s is my go-to brand) and top the pork with Salt And Savour Sauerkraut. My current favorite is the Horseradish and Mustard Seed. The flavors collide in a beautiful outpouring of zip and tang with a hint of sweet.

You’ve never tasted pulled pork quite like this!

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Pineapple Lime Jamaican Tacos

Parenting is this fierce beast that loves to prove I know nothing. I’m constantly thinking “I’ve got this” only to run into a situation that leaves me on my face wondering why God gave me 3 kids. Luckily, grace came in the form of tacos today. Pineapple Lime Jamaican Tacos to be more specific.

Nap time was a dance between my little girl crawling out of her bed to put EVERY.SINGLE.STUFFED ANIMAL. in with her and me naively thinking I could put her to bed and she’d go to sleep right away. I had planned on being so productive during her nap time. Alas, I was only productive at walking into her room in shifts saying the same things over and over again. “Rori, it’s nigh-night time. Lay down and go to sleep.” Three seconds later I could hear little feet running over to her toy box to see if she could sneak any more dollies into bed. Giggling the whole way. I love her joy, but man alive I needed her to sleep!

She finally passed out on the floor with stuffed animals all around her. Don’t judge-this is real life here. Toddlers are not meant to be controlled. There is no way I was going to attempt putting her back in her bed. Sleep won out, and that was all she needed.

Taco Inspiration

I entered the kitchen starving, hoping for something quick. While perusing my fridge I remembered the pineapple sitting on my counter. Immediately creative thoughts flowed and before I knew it tacos were happening.

What is it about new ideas that grab us like a bear hug and a shot of espresso all at once?

Lime was in hand, being freshly squeezed over grilled ham and black beans with a few red bell peppers tossed in. The notion to turn paleo mayo into more of a crème flew in my brain like a train I just had to jump on. My blender started up and diced pineapple was thrown in with more lime and some wild seasonings that just “felt” right.

The only thing better than a new idea is trying that new idea. Eating these tacos eased my frustration with stuffed animals and the notion that my daughter is against me when she doesn’t sleep. I know that’s not true. She never does anything at me, things just affect me because we are family. But emotions are funny things and they can sway me away from truth if I’m not careful.

Look at these tacos. Fresh, clean, and beautiful. Just like the new idea that birthed them.

As if you needed another reason to make these- they are amazingly healthy for you. Gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and 100% nutrient dense. This dish will fill you up and let you move on with your day more focused and liberated. If you’re going through our meal plans, this one is perfect for the 5-week plan. It’s a great blend of healthy, while re-introducing a few foods too.

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Basic Bone Broth

Bone Broth is the THING right now. At first I hesitated to post a recipe for it. I had lots of reservations about whether it’s really a sustainable recipe or a temporary fling. Now that I’ve researched the issue, let’s dive in to the truths and façades.

Bone Broth Façade #1

Bone broth is the newest trend. False! Bone broth has been around since the dawn of time. Seriously. The concept of meat being boiled into water to cook is nothing new. Neither is the idea of drinking the water with the meat and veggies. It has been human nature to consume bone broth. Do you know what has changed however? Canned Broth.

Bone Broth Façade #2

All broths are created equal. Not even close. There is a reason so many recipes are clarifying that they are for “bone broth” and not simply broth. For one, canned broth from the store is not processed with meat bones. In fact, some of them don’t specify how they get the “meat” flavor into the broth. This gives me that heeby-geeby kind of feeling. You can now buy bone broth in most grocery stores. However, an 8 oz. jar is typically $6 or more. 😱Ouch!

Bone Broth Truth #1

Bone broth is a great source for probiotics. So true! For anyone who has a hard time getting plenty of probiotics regularly, try bone broth. I personally love how easy it is to grab and go. Take it in a coffee mug on your way to work, add it to your lunch, or make a delicious soup with it for dinner. This Savory Chicken Veggie Soup is a great one to use bone broth in. Other common sources of probiotics are yogurts, kimchi, dill pickles, kombucha and dark chocolate.

Bone Broth Truth #2

Bone broth can heal gut issues. Yes, so much yes. While you may still need to see a doctor depending on the severity of your gut issues, bone broth has amazing healing qualities. Most people feel better within 30 minutes of drinking bone broth-it’s that good! I suggest adding it to your daily diet for a while to see sustainable results. Here’s a tip for those of us that are a little stressed for time. When you cook a whole chicken. turkey, or roast, keep the bones and freeze them until you have time to make bone broth. I’ve done this before and you don’t lose any nutrients by freezing them – it just saves you some time!

Bone Broth Truth #3

Bone broth can reduce cellulite. Say what?? Call me crazy but it’s true! Drinking bone broth regularly can minimize cellulite and give you great skin. The real secret here? Animal fat is good for you. Natural fats are good for you. All in moderation of course, but none the less food for you! This is why I’m not scare to incorporated butter, bacon grease, or red meats (typically have more fat on them) in my recipes. At Sweetest Lemonade we want to see you improve your health in every sense of the word. You deserve to live a long, sustainable life!

I did a lot of research to gather the best information. This is the best site I found. They even have a break-down of what kind of bones you may want to use.

Now that you know, remember to keep bone both in your diet, even if social media stops talking about it so frequently. Bone broth has always been good for you, and will continue to be!

 

By the way, if you caught on to my “that Hansel is so hot right now” reference, then we are for sure friends 😘

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Pepper Pomegranate Crock Pot Meatballs

Looking for the perfect appetizer for your upcoming party? These Pepper Pomegranate Crock Pot Meatballs are delicious and insanely easy to throw together. They are a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

I can’t stop thinking about these meatballs. At first I thought they were too spicy. I was super excited to try them and literally put a whole meatball in my mouth without thinking twice. I’m not one for super hot foods and I freaked out when I first tried them! Then I finished eating the meatball and realized it was pleasantly sweet at the end. What a great combo! I served these over rice for dinner and my entire family loved them.

If you’ve ever made the classic crock pot meatballs with the grape jelly, these are the evil genius to them. A much better, more flavorful version.

Don’t cook much? Perfect! These meatballs can be done one of two ways.

Method One: Buy a 2lb. bag of frozen meatballs. Pour them into your crockpot and add two jars of pepper pomegranate jelly to the crock pot. Heat on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours.
Method Two: Make homemade meatballs. Bake them in the oven, remove and pour the jars of jelly on top.

Easy right?? Either way, you’ve got some amazing meatballs ready for dinner or as an appetizer.

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Split Pea Soup

Soup weather. Don’t you just love soup weather? Living in Northern California has sadly left me with entire years that skipped soup weather. This year though is making up for that. We are going to have a long winter and lots of soup weather. On top of that, I’ve mastered the soup most people judge simply by it’s color. Split Pea Soup.

Split Pea Soup: The Whole Package

Soups that can be a complete meal win me over. If I’m going to make a big pot of soup, I really don’t want to create extra side dishes to go with it. The most you’ll see me do is toast some bread (here is my current favorite gluten free bread) or throw together a green salad. Beyond that, I’m not wasting my time.

Split pea soup is a bit controversial in our family. My husband and my oldest son love it. The younger two are not a fan, mostly because of the color. So on split pea soup night they little eat leftovers.

I’ve found a way to make this a win for us though. I’ll make the soup and store the leftovers for us. Josh, my 8-year old loves taking this in his soup container for school lunches with a couple pieces of bread. I’ve done my research and found some really great containers that keep his food warm by lunch time. My husband likes that this soup thickens up, making it easy for him to eat while he’s on the road. He drives for UPS and is often delivering in the middle of country roads when it’s time for him to take his lunch. He needs food that won’t spill. This one recipe will last us 3-4 days of lunches which is pretty great if you ask me!

Look past the color and try this glorious soup. For those out there wondering what the deal is with split peas, here’s the low-down. Split peas are technically in the legume family, so if you are strict paleo you might not eat these. They are however the same botanically as fresh green beans or fresh peas. So if you eat those and have no issue with them, try this soup and monitor yourself for the next 24 hours. You may have just found a new item you can eat! I know for myself I’m always overjoyed when I find a new food my gut can handle.

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I’d love to hear what you and your family think of this recipe, so comment below what everyone thought!

 




Easy Paleo Carrot Cake Muffins

I’m in love. You need these Carrot Cake Muffins. I was going to call them “stupid easy”, but thought better of it. I’d feel so bad if you made these and your oven went out mid-baking only to leave you thinking you couldn’t make the “stupid easy” muffins.

Why are they so easy you ask? I took out the hard stuff. Didn’t see that coming did you?

First, instead of tediously grating the carrots, put them in a blender or food processor! You can use whole carrots or baby carrots. Baby carrots are better because you don’t even have to peel them. I measured out 2 cups of baby carrots, tossed them in my blender and then pulsed a few times to get them all the same little size.

These blend into the perfect minced pieces!

Second, once you’ve blended the carrots-that’s the only extra step! The rest is smooth sailing. Mix the rest of your muffin batter in a large bowl with a wooden or rubber spatula.

 

Place your choice of cute muffin liners in a muffin pan and then pour the batter into them. I filled mine about 3/4 full and this recipe made 12 very moist muffins.

If you want to go the extra mile, I included a light maple cream cheese frosting. It turns this healthy breakfast option into an indulgent tea time.

These freeze really well too, so if you like to meal prep, try baking a dozen of these and grabbing them in the morning with a hard boiled egg for a delicious on the go meal.

The Secret Ingredient

I’m excited to share my secret to making these muffins so moist. I use Beber Almond Milk. These guys are the next big thing in Northern California. Fresh, no additives and a variety of flavors has made this company flourish in a short amount of time. Check out their list of stores and Farmers Markets where you can find them!

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Did I mention my almost 2-year old is crazy for these?? She could eat these all day. If you have littles at home this is a great way to get some veggies in to start their morning!




Quiche Me; The Perfect New Year’s Appetizer

Holidays give me the feels. I get all emotional and reminiscent of years past. Especially with my main squeeze. Thus, the sappy name for this recipe- Quiche Me!

I don’t think I’ve shared this yet, but I’m one of the lucky ones. One of the few girls who didn’t have to suffer multitudes of heartbreak before finding my guy. I had one boyfriend, and he became my forever and always. To be honest, I met Thad when I was young enough to think guys were only on the earth to tease and make fart jokes. I wasn’t wrong about those things, there’s just more to it now. 😉

My husband and I met way back when I still thought sports bras were evil and he had braces and a  truck with a huge Spider-Man decal on it. So many things have changed in the last 15 years, but he and I have been together through it all. Thankfully I’ve made amends with sports bras (they are so much cuter now) and Thad got his braces off. The truck is still here, but his little brother owns it now.

New Years is a time to celebrate the exciting unknown ahead and reflect on the joys of what’s been. I’m fortunate enough to have memories with the same guy in both directions. Our first years together New Years was more about hanging with friends and lighting fireworks ( legal, of course). Then came the romantic years. It didn’t matter what party we were at, it was all about that kiss at midnight.

These recent years have been a challenge just to stay up that late and hope the kids sleep in the next day! 😂 Life has changed, new joys have come and go. One thing I can count on is that my guy and I will be there for each other. We help each other chase dreams and we raise the most awesome kids you ever did meet. Read my funny mom posts about them here.

I know this is way more sentimental than you usually find my posts, but like I said earlier, the holidays give me the feels. Whatcha gunna do?

Over Christmas break I made two versatile quiches that will be perfect for your party this weekend. No matter what kind of party, or what kind of “quiche” you’re hoping for at midnight, these recipes are here for you.

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Mighty Meatballs

You’ve heard of normal meatballs. Meh. These are Mighty Meatballs. Full of flavor and size. They will take over your plate  and have you think you can handle 3 or 4, but in reality 1 or 2 will fill you right up.

Why The Name “Mighty Meatballs”

My eight year-old helped name these. He is insane about them-convinced that everyone needs to try them. Josh loved the size of them and said they were so mighty, they’d turn you into Hercules. He’s right!

 

Did I mention my Mighty Meatballs are gluten free too? Tons of recipes add bread pieces or breadcrumbs to meatballs. I took a different approach. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better-right?!?

Just out of the oven. Mmm…….

According to my son, you should make them just as big as I did and make them with my homemade pasta sauce. Boil some brown rice noodles and you’ll have yourself a kid approved dinner that secretly you approve too. 😉

Almost ready to bake!

I really should have snapped a pic of little Rori shoving her face with these. Super cute and messy. I wish I was better at taking pics in the moment, but I’m usually just enjoying the moment too gosh darn much! My husband is much better at taking pictures in the moment. We’ll go on vacation and come home to find I have a measly 6 pics on my phone and he has 109! In fact, he took just about every picture from our Disneyland trip!!

Enough about my lack of “picture taking in the moment” skills. I sure know how to photograph food though!! Swoon over this 👇

Here’s a recipe you’ll want to pin and save! If you cook like I do, you’ll use this one about once a month or more! Mighty Meatballs are also on our meal plan so if you’ve signed up or are thinking about it, try this recipe  with my homemade pasta sauce!

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Want to see more of Sweetest Lemonade? Find us on Instagram @sweetestlemonade and on Pinterest!




Caramelized Orange Honey Glazed Ham

This Caramelized Orange Honey Glazed Ham will have your relatives thinking you’re the next Rachel Ray.

I created this recipe for my annual Friendsgiving. It came to me when I was shopping for the big event. Usually I’d pick up the classic spiral ham that comes with a little sauce package.

However, I was shopping “kid-less” and taking more time than normal to read labels. As I read the back of the sauce packet, sudden shock glazed over me. (Get the pun there?) High fructose corn syrup and three other kinds of sugar were at the top of the list. That was all I needed to see. I decided to make my own glaze, and buy a more local ham too. This glazed ham had to be stupendous.

How To Prep A Ham Before The Glaze

First, make sure your ham is defrosted all the way. I like to transfer mine to the fridge at least 48 hours before I am going to cook it. This recipe is intended for a 6-10 lb ham. If yours is larger, you may want to double the glaze recipe.

glazed-ham3

When you are ready to cook the ham, take it out of the fridge, and remove any plastic wrapping. Set it in a large roasting pan on it’s side.

To properly get the flavor of a glaze into a ham, you need to make a diamond cut on the top and sides of the ham. To do this, cut into the ham starting at one side and moving at an angle towards the other side. Do this in 1-2 inch strips. Then cut in the other direction. Make your cuts anywhere from 3-6 inches deep, going as deep as possible, but trying not to hit the bone. Once done, the ham will be covered in diamond cuts on the top and sides.

I made a video to illustrate this for you.

Once you have the ham cut, it’s time to insert whole cloves.

glazed-ham2

I like putting them into the corners of the diamonds, simply because it looks so beautiful. When all is said and done, don’t you want the main dish to look as good as it tastes??

glazed-ham-pic1
Cloves covering the ham, so pretty!

Making The Glaze

Now it’s time to make the glaze! Get out a medium sauce pan. Combine all glaze ingredients and heat to a boil. Stirring constantly, bring the sauce back down to a simmer for 3-4 minutes. The orange will start to caramelize slightly as it simmers and the sauce thickens up.

glazed-ham10

The fun part! Drizzle the entire sauce over the ham. Cover in foil and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours depending on the weight and how your oven works. My ham was 9 lbs and it cooked in 2 hours.

glazed-ham8
The perfect centerpiece-an edible one!

Try this recipe for Christmas dinner, everyone will love it and it can double as an incredible centerpiece!

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Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken

Is it fall yet? Is it fall yet? I’ve been longing for the leaves to change colors and the cool breeze to welcome me as I get the kids ready for school each morning. Possibly the best thing about fall is the freedom to heat up my kitchen again with soups, stews, casseroles and of course, this Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken!

Delicious Details

The older I get, the more I appreciate a meal that’s been thought out, seasoned well and made with high quality ingredients. That is exactly what I did with this dish. I used a whole chicken we killed and plucked from our friend’s little farm. The fresh herbs were from my garden and I used locally source ghee from Mama Sattva Ghee.

herbs & ghee
herbs & ghee

A dish doesn’t haven’t to be complex to be immersed in flavor. Before you start thinking these things are out of reach for you, keep in mind that my herb garden consists of 6 pots I’ve found space for on the side of my house. I don’t have a huge garden or land that I can even have animals on. Therefore, I get creative. I do what I can at our house, and I meet people locally who are willing to trade or barter for a reasonable price. The longer I’ve done this, the more I am realizing that being sustainable has a lot to do with community.

Reay for roasting
Reay for roasting

Start Small

Go to your local farmer’s markets and meet the farmers themselves. If you catch them at a time when they’re not busy, they’d love to tell you about their process and what makes them so passionate about what they sell. If I am not at the farmer’s market, I’m getting food from friends. I’ve been working towards sustainable living for over two years. I now have local contacts for the following:

  • beef
  • pork
  • chicken
  • turkey
  • almonds
  • seasonal fruit
  • seasonal veggies
  • eggs

Anything I can’t get at either of those places, I purchase at a regular grocery store. This is my balance. I don’t guilt myself for having to buy bananas at the store. It’s all about the process!

Perfectly browned thanks to ghee!
Perfectly browned because of ghee

I know you’ll love this recipe and find many times this season to use it. It’s definitely a winner for the next time you have guests over!

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If you are wondering what a medium roasting pan looks like, click here. I personally can’t imagine having one without handles!